If Nien Cheng were a U.S. citizen and Chinese government were the U.S. government, what constitutional rights of hers were violated?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have not read this book, but I have read various things about Cheng's life.  Since no one else is answering this, I'll do my best with what I know:

  • If you count the Red Guards as part of the government, they conduct an illegal search and seizure when they enter her home.  Since they are searching for evidence that she's a capitalist stooge, they should have (under US law) a warrant saying what they're looking for and where they will search.  This violates the 4th Amendment.
  • When the Red Guards burn her books, they are depriving her of her property without due process of law.  This violates the 5th Amendment.
  • When she is confined to her home, she is being deprived of her liberty without due process of law.  This violates the 5th Amendment.
  • At her "trial" there was no jury and she had no chance to have a lawyer.  This violates 6th Amendment.
  • Most courts would probably agree that her imprisonment was cruel and unusual punishment because of the harsh conditions.  This violates the 8th Amendment.

I hope that helps.  The link is to an article I read about her.

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Life and Death in Shanghai

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